By Rachel Wulff


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California will play a huge role in who could take the White House. The 494 delegates up for grabs could determine who faces off against President Trump.

Super Tuesday is right around the corner, and that means candidates are spending big bucks to deliver their message. On Friday, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg made his pitch to voters during a town hall in Cesar Chavez Plaza.

“I now stand before you, at the head of an unlikely campaign, leading in the race for delegates for the Democratic nomination, said Buttigieg.

Hundreds lined up early for the chance to hear the Democratic presidential frontrunner, who’s fresh off strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I liked his personality, I liked that he includes people and he’s not attacking other candidates or other people running,” said one woman.

“I want to feel some of his energy and feel some of the energy of the people here,” said another.

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The virtually unknown former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is up against a slew of political opponents including Bernie Sanders, who’s in his second run at the White House, and former Vice President Jose Biden, as well as political newcomers Tom Steyer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars on campaign ads in the north state.

CBS13 political analyst Gary Dietrich says California matters more this election year ever since the state moved their primary from June to March 3 — Super Tuesday.

“Because it was moved up and because we don’t have any breakout candidate right now, California is going to end up with a big say, I think, in who our nominee for the democratic party is likely to be,” said Dietrich.

Buttigieg targeted Sacramento and Turlock on Friday, hoping to sway many moderates, but it’s the youth who are coming out for the first openly gay presidential candidate.

“The fact that he’s young but also that he is like a minority and the fact that he’s LGBTQ is really interesting and important. And the fact that the world is changing and everyone should be progressing,” said Grace Merritt.

Jenny Hoang said “I felt really inspired.”

Dietrich says the February 22nd Nevada primary will be interesting for all candidates because it will show how they will fare with Latino voters.

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